ASOHON Deploys Software To Tackle Child Trafficking, Fake Orphanages In Nigeria


By Sunday Etuka, Abuja

Alarmed by the increasing waves of child trafficking, fake orphanages and baby factories in the country, the Association of Orphanages and Homes Operators in Nigeria (ASOHON) has deployed a “Children Software” to tackle the menace.

Deployed in collaboration with Both Ends Believing (BEB) International, the Software is expected to address the root causes of the menace, which are lack of accurate data as to the number of children in the homes, as well as the number of homes duly registered by the various supervising Ministries across the country.

Speaking during an Interactive Forum in Abuja on Monday organised by the association to review the current statistics and data of children in the orphanages, the ASOHON National President, Rev. Dr. Gabriel Oyediji said, the biggest challenges of the association were the lack of accurate data, and number of duly registered homes for the effective management of all vulnerable children in Nigeria.

Rev. Oyediji lamented that the lack of data, made it almost impossible to easily determine the number of children in need of alternative care option or even family-based care option.

“We do not have a reliable data base to determine the number of orphans in orphanages across the country. We have difficulties in identifying authentic orphanages approved by different supervising Ministries. Our partnership with BEB organisation has become a beacon of hope with the development of Children Software”, he added.

He, however, expressed optimism that the innovative software and tracking devices will make a tangible difference in the lives of children in orphanages, providing them with a sense of security and safety that they may not have fully had hitherto.

The ASOHON National President said, the BEB Children Software is globally working in 14 countries, including eight in Africa, specifically, Uganda, Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Gambia, Sierra Leone and Congo, noting that the positive impact of the software in these countries prompted the request for their partnership.

Also speaking, Assistant Director, Child Development at the Ministry of Women Affairs, Mr. Eligius Nobis commended ASOHON for the job it is doing, especially the effective management of Orphanages and homes across the country.

He urged the association to ensure that all illegal homes in Nigeria are wiped out so as not to tarnish the association’s image.

He appealed for collaborative work among the relevant stakeholders for the effective management of the homes, and to check the prevalence of fake baby factories in the country.

Speaking on the functionality of the software, the BEB Africa Reginal Director, Kenneth Ayebazibwe explained that the Children Software is a web-based software provided for the government, especially, the Ministries and Social Welfare in the respective countries.

He said, “in terms of functionality the system is web-based, online, allows registration of a child, specifically a child registered through the children homes where they are located, then get a range of approvals from the government or social welfare government officials.

“It helps the government keeps record of the children from the time they enter the facility to the time they leave the facility.

“It is free. Free meaning that we try to cut the cost for developing, hosting and maintaining from the government, rather allows the government or child care institutions to focus on service delivery’’, he said.

Ayebazibwe, however, noted that the software is not open to the public. It is only for government use.

Speaking of the benefits of the software to the government, he said, the system it allows the government to easily coordinate the homes and those within the child care space.

According to him, the system also ensures accountability in the management of the homes, adding that government can also develop programmes around the data that would be generated from the system to attract funding for the children and also put in place standards for effective service delivery.

Fielding questions from newsmen at the sidelines of the event, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Plateau State, Mrs. Caroline Dafur commended ASOHON and partners for organising the event.

She noted that the number of orphanage homes in the state has been re-validated, and are duly registered, disclosing that the issue of child trafficking is not that pronounced in Plateau State.

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